When it comes to the art of filmmaking, you’ll want to incorporate the best practices of camera movements to inspire and amaze your audience. Learning how to become a cameraman depends a lot on mastering these techniques. Camera movements can either make or break your movies, your cinematography school projects, your music videos, etc. One key element to remember is that how the camera moves is usually motivated by either the characters’ actions or the actions of the story line. Read on for our top Film School Tips on camera movements!


Utilizing the industry’s best practices for camera movement is an aspect of filmmaking that distinguishes it from still photography. A feeling of movement is produced by the fact that people and objects close to the camera move much faster than those at a distance. This is how the illusion of motion in three-dimensions is created on a two-dimensional screen:

  • As a camera moves in the direction of an object, that object’s size increases faster in the frame than the various objects behind it (the opposite of zooming)
  • As a camera moves in a sideways direction, objects near the camera seem to move more quickly across the frame than those at a distance (tracking and parallax)


  1. Use wide lenses to enhance parallax. This is a film effect taught at top film schools that makes objects closer to the lenses appear to move across the screen faster.
  2. Using long lenses compresses the visual planes. This produces a different look in film than just using wide lenses, allowing the audience to focus on a specific object.
  3. Sideways tracking shots enhance the parallax feeling. These shots are much more effective when objects exist in the foreground, meaning closer to the lenses. Director Stephen Spielberg is a master at utilizing tracking shots within his movies.
  4. Jib arm or crane shots are vertical movements made as the camera is attached to a long arm and they usually follow all of the techniques above.
  5. Dolly shots will add a very smooth and distinct feel to your film. It takes having real skill with a real dolly grip in order to shoot and track objects while the camera is in motion.
  6. Tracking shots are usually shot on a tripod and involve the cameraman following a character or object as it moves in real time.
  7. Steadicam is a camera stabilizer used to create smooth shots while the camera is in motion. A steadicam produces similar results to a dolly, without the restrictions of a track or steady ground.
  8. Zooming and sideways camera movement can be combined to create awesome, eye-catching shots. Film producer and director Ridley Scott is a master at the combination camera movement technique.
  9. Zoom out while tracking in if you want a genuine vertigo effect. Film producer and director Alfred Hitchcock was the first to use this camera movement technique. Since then, indie filmmakers around the world have utilized it.
  10. Hand held is simply that. The cameraman holds the camera and creates his own movement to compliment the action in the scene to create an erratic, uneasy feel.


Launch your filmmaking career and learn how to become a cameraman from an accredited, top film school gives you an edge among industry competition. It takes a good cinematography school to teach you the skills needed to start a career in the filmmaking industry! F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Digital Filmmaking and Video Production program is just what you need to achieve that edge.

With our small class sizes, hands on instructors, and real studio settings, you won’t find anywhere better to begin your career in film! Call us today to learn more about Film and Video Production courses at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, a top film school in Orlando, Florida, today!